Separation Anxiety

Pet parents of dogs with this terrible affliction suffer right along with their animals.

The ever-present possibility of returning home to destroyed property, complaints of barking or your dog with a new self-inflicted injury leaves many feeling hopeless, guilty and out-of-control. If your dog’s separation anxiety is wreaking havoc on your life, we’re here to help. Let us teach your dog to stay home alone so you can live without worry.

What is Separation Anxiety?

Separation Anxiety is an authentic panic disorder. When left alone, dogs experience any of a range of symptoms indicating mild anxiety to uncontrollable panic. Resolution of this harrowing canine disorder requires training.

It’s more common than you think. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that 15% of the 72 million dogs in this country suffer from some form of separation anxiety. Less extreme cases go undetected, and these dogs suffer endlessly, day after day. More serious cases result in a one-way return ticket to the shelter where a dog’s unhappy options  include  euthanasia or re-homing, the later typically increases the severity of the disorder along with its symptoms.


When home alone, dogs with Separation Anxiety may do any of the following:

  • Pace without ceasing
  • Excessively pant to the point of dehydration
  • Bark, whine and howl
  • Involuntarily urinate and defecate in the house
  • Destroy crates, furniture, door jams, window ledges, and break windows
  • Cause serious physical injury to themselves

Some Common Causes of Separation Anxiety

  • Moving or re-homing
  • Changes in the family, like the loss or departure of a family member
  • Regular, overlong absences
  • A frightening experience when left alone
  • A highly traumatizing event
  • Airline transport of puppies

Going forward? What to Expect, Step by step:

Free 30-minute Initial Consultation.

Separation Anxiety Video Assessment

Customized Treatment and Support Package

Take a deep breath because help is on the way.

Intensive 4-week Program

Your Customized Treatment and Support Package: Intensive 4-week Program: $750

Due to the nature of Separation Anxiety, the necessary training time varies widely from dog to dog. We begin with a minimum 4-week training program to build a strong foundation for longer periods of stress-free home alone time, and estimate the amount of training required to reach your goals. Each week you will receive one live video assessment, daily customized training plans we call “missions” to execute with your dog, daily feedback on each of those missions, and ongoing email support.  Savvy and motivated owners find they can often continue the process on their own with less and less support. To begin: Sara Munro Dog Training serves dogs and their families suffering from separation anxiety in the Santa Barbara Area and across the country. This innovative remote training protocol allows us to help wherever you are, providing active support every step of the way. Schedule your free 30-minute Initial Consultation.  

Get Started Now

Remote Technology Protocol

The use of modern technology, including computers, phones, and tablets, greatly enhances behavior modification for Separation Anxiety.  It enables us to watch your dog and desensitize him to your departures in a highly systematic and strategic way, without causing him any distress that would ultimately work against us and prolong his disorder. Programs like Skype allow us to accelerate our training, while gathering important information about your dog and saving you time and money.

Common Misconceptions About Separation Anxiety

Myth: Dogs communicate their anger about being left alone by urinating, defecating, barking incessantly or destroying your stuff. The Truth: Your dog is panicked and afraid you’re not coming home.  His behavior indicates an involuntary loss of emotional and physiological control, not a planned and spiteful protest of your absence. Myth: It’s your fault.  Many will tell you that you’ve spoiled your dog or somehow brought this on yourself. The Truth: Separation Anxiety has many causes. Individual dogs respond to stressful life events differently and anxiety arises from within the dog. An Invitation: Please release yourself from blame. It’s no one’s fault.  Now is a good time to offer you and your dog some much needed kindness and compassion. Having a dog with this disorder is stressful enough.  

Why SA Doesn’t Resolve On Its Own

It seems reasonable to assume an SA dog will “get over it,” and that an equally reasonable approach would be to hold off on training awaiting that result. Won’t he realize you come back every time? It would be nice if this was true, but unfortunately, it’s just the opposite.  In most cases, dogs with SA don’t get better, they get worse. Leaving an SA dog alone triggers his fear, which floods his body with stress inducing chemicals. Daily repetition of this triggering results in a hyper-vigilant dog who is always watching you and waiting for signs you’re leaving. As your dog’s eyes follow you, he becomes an expert at identifying the signs of your departure. While putting on your work shoes, grabbing your purse and car keys may predict your exit for work without him, putting on a cap and hiking shoes may suggest a walk with him. Each time you get ready to go out, your dog watches with growing unease as the clues that he’ll be left alone stack up.   This ongoing state of low-level anxiety builds to full-blown panic as you leave, propelling his body to release a cascade of stress chemicals. This repeating cycle of exposure to stress and anxiety typically increases sensitivity to your departures, making it impossible for him to feel calm or safe when left alone. Fortunately, with training, and for some severe cases with the help of medication, dogs can and do learn to stay at home alone. You and your dog deserve relief. Call 805-8458-8458 or email today for your 30-minute consultation.

Meet Your Trainer

Living with a dog with a severe disorder can be truly disheartening. While empathizing with you from my own first hand experience, I am here to help guide you and ease your way along the path to healing your dog’s devastating panic disorder. I’ve studied with Malena DeMartini, renowned in the dog-training world for her expertise in dog separation anxiety disorders, and earned the Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT) credential. She is truly the best, and this is the highest qualification available to treat this disorder. I look forward to our 30-minute free initial consultation.

Learn more about Sara’s training methods and extensive credentials